Anal Fissure Specialist
Yosef Y Nasseri, MD
Minimally Invasive and Robotic Colorectal Surgeon & Robotic Surgeon located in Los Angeles, CA
Anal Fissure Q & A
What is an anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a small tear that develops in the thin tissue that lines your anus. A fissure most commonly occurs when you pass large stools or stools that are hard during a bowel movement. The tears can also develop due to:
- Anal sex
- Chronic diarrhea
- Chronic constipation
- Strain of labor and childbirth
- Inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease
Anal fissures can develop in people of any age and are especially common in infants. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, you may experience symptoms that interfere with your quality of life. Untreated fissures can also lead to a worsening of the tear that becomes difficult to heal.
What are the symptoms of an anal fissure?
The first indication you may have an anal fissure is seeing blood on the toilet paper or in the bowl after a bowel movement. Other common symptoms of an anal fissure include:
- Small lump near the fissure
- Pain during bowel movements
- Cracks in the skin around the anus
The pain of an anal fissure can often be intense and may persist for several hours after you have a bowel movement.
How is an anal fissure diagnosed?
During your evaluation for anal fissure-related symptoms, Dr. Nasseri reviews your medical history and lifestyle and will perform a physical exam. In many cases, an anal fissure tear is visible during a physical. He may diagnose you as having chronic fissures if you have recurrent anal tears or one that isn’t healed within eight weeks.
The location of the fissure may indicate to Dr. Nasseri the root cause of the tear. If he suspects you have an underlying condition, like Crohn’s disease, Dr. Nasseri may recommend additional diagnostic testing, such as a colonoscopy.
This procedure involves the insertion of a slender scope with attached light and camera into the anal cavity. The camera sends real-time images of your lower digestive tract to an external monitor to identify abnormalities.
How is an anal fissure treated?
Initially, treatment for an anal fissure focuses on nonsurgical therapies, such as topical medications to heal the tear and anesthetic creams to reduce pain. Dr. Nasseri also offers injections of Botox® that helps relax your anal sphincter muscles.
When you have chronic anal fissures, Dr. Nasseri may recommend surgical intervention. During an anal sphincterotomy, he divides a small portion of the sphincter muscle to ease pain and promote efficient healing of the tear.
If you have symptoms of an anal fissure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nasseri by phone or by requesting an appointment online today.